The protein synthesis inhibitor emetine was used to establish the times of synthesis of mitotic proteins, whose presence in the cell are essential in the mitotic processes of chromosome condensation, nuclear membrane breakdown, and possibly, chromosome alignment at metaphase. In embryos of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, protein synthesis required for chromosome condensation and nuclear membrane breakdown occurs between 20 and 35 min after fertilization. In Lytechinus variegatus embryos the time of synthesis of the mitotic proteins is more variable, occurring between 4 and 15 min after fertilization. Furthermore, in both species the mitosis of each cell cycle requires new synthesis of these proteins with the synthesis occurring at the beginning of each cycle. This observation indicates that the mitotic proteins, which are active at prophase and metaphase, lose their activity at late ana- and telophase.